In January, 2014, Denver Parks and Recreation announced that it would hold a series of “Stakeholder Meetings” to consider modifications to the City Loop project as proposed in the October, 2013 design document. For more information, please see Act Now – Come To City Loop Meetings.
Stakeholder Meeting 1 – February 26
The first meeting took place on February 26, from 6 – 8:30 pm at Bogey’s Restaurant at the City Park Golf Course. So-called “Invited Stakeholders” were invited to participate, while other neighbors and citizens were asked to sit on the sidelines. Notes were taken on large pieces of tablet paper and by a group of representatives of Parks & Recreation, including City employees, members of the “Indie” architecture firm, and various contractors. Parks and Recreation published their notes from this meeting to the Invited Stakeholders on March 7.
Park Hill resident Richard Young corresponded with Parks & Recreation after the February 26th meeting. We strongly encourage you to read this correspondence. Mr. Young concludes with the following point:
Political pressure is building in all the neighborhoods around City Park about you attempting to force this project down the throats of so many people. I can almost bet there will be political consequences to our City officials because of these blatant attempts of people on our city’s payroll to push this through, and by your actions which say: full speed ahead; to hell with the voters.
Mr. Young’s inquiries included questions about: public outreach during the period before December, 2013, funding, and location (i.e. alternatives). The response he received included the following points:
- City Park is the only location for City Loop that is under serious consideration.
- The goal of the Stakeholder meetings is to alter the City Loop design to the point where citizens will accept it in City Park.
- Funding for the project came from a grant in the amount of $75,000. No additional expenditures were acknowledged in the letter to Mr. Young.
Mr. Young’s response to the City makes a number of strong points, including:
- Press releases were misleading, at best, constantly referring to City Loop as a replacement for the Dustin Redd playground, rather than the multi-million dollar Attraction the design document describes.
- Press coverage in the major outlets was non-existent until after the December 6 meeting.
- Despite overwhelming citizen input that City Loop is not wanted in City Park, Parks & Recreation is only considering a plan to modify City Loop for City Park.
- The process, which only allows “Invited Stakeholders” to participate and receive communication from Parks and Rec, in which meeting dates and locations are changed, and which requires attending a meeting at the Zoo on a busy Saturday during Spring Break, is not designed to encourage or receive public input.